Every year when I do Virtua Fighter Month, I always wonder if I’m going to be running out of topics to talk about in regards to VF. To be honest, if Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown didn’t become a thing, I would have easily run out of ideas. But since we are on the subject, let’s talk about VF5US.
Back in May, we learned about the long-awaited title, Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown, also known as Virtua Fighter eSports in Japan. The game served as a complete remake of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown but with graphical updates from Yakuza’s RGG Studios and gameplay retained from SEGA AM2. True to the name, it served as an eSports revival of the franchise as a whole. This game also served as a project for SEGA’s 60th Anniversary Campaign since last year.
I remember waking up early in the morning to watch the Virtua Fighter eSports presentation from SEGA even though it was in Japanese. I was so happy that VF came back after a 10-year absence and I was drawn to what was contained in the game. The one thing that made me crazy was the DLC that came with the game which includes VF1 models for the entire cast, VF1-styled UI, classic music from VF1-VF5FS (including VF Kids), custom items, and more! And yes, we’re getting more DLC in the future, so that’s a bonus!
I had the honor of playing the game early thanks to SEGA sending me a code and I remember streaming the game for the first time. It was at that moment where my character crisis finally came to an end after 10 years now that I found a main character in Goh Hinogami. If you guys remember several years ago, I was originally a Lau main back in VF5FS but after I competed in No Matter The Cost back in 2017, I felt as if I wasn’t clicking with that character at all.
Now on the subject of the game itself, it’s just a remade version of VF5FS complete with brand new features. While the gameplay still remains true to form, the main criticism is mostly online play. The game reuses the same netcode used in VF5FS, which can be a problem since most fighting games use Rollback Netcode nowadays. Some of the features came out with issues such as the VF1 models were swapped, finding lobbies, and spectators not viewing matches in lobbies. Thankfully, RGG Studios and AM2 have been quick to listen to feedback and the game has improved tremendously over time.
Despite the shortcomings that this game encountered at launch, VF5US has been downloaded 10 million times worldwide, bringing a total to 18 million units worldwide from the franchise. Not only that, but the game is nominated for Best Fighting Game at The Game Awards as well.
I am glad to see Virtua Fighter making a comeback this year and I’m also glad to see various members of the FGC trying the game out for once. And with new additions coming next year (or this year depending on when SEGA is going to announce the next DLC for custom items, which is tomorrow btw), it shows that there’s still light at the end of the tunnel for the franchise. That interest is more than enough for a possible 6th entry in the future.
Hmm, maybe I should ask SEGA if they express interest in bringing back the SEGA Cup for VF5US. Or better yet, talk to SEGA of America if they have any interest in making a daily or weekly show for the VF Community. That would be awesome.
Anyway, VF Month has begun! Join me next time as we talk about Virtua Fighter’s influence seen in Dead or Alive. Mind you, this year is the 25th Anniversary of the DOA franchise.
Until then… Train Up, Fighters!